Lynchburg Headlines ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Three Squads Earn First Place Votes

FOREST, Va. --- A familiar squad returns to the top of the ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as defending champion University of Lynchburg earned #1 billing in the annual survey of the league's head coaches. The Hornets garnered 163 points powered by seven first place votes, while Virginia Wesleyan University trails closely behind with 155 tallies including five top nods. Washington and Lee University takes up third with 140 markers, while Bridgewater College picked up the remaining two first place votes on the way to 137 points to rank fourth.

ODAC fans were treated to a banner ODAC Tournament in 2017 with five of the seven games coming down to one deciding goal. That included both semifinals and the championship, which were competed at top-seed Virginia Wesleyan. The host Marlins were defeated by Bridgewater, 2-1, in one semifinal outing, while Lynchburg got the best of Roanoke College by the same score in the other semifinal.

It took overtime to decide a champion the following day with Caitlin Mertens' 100th-minute strike propelling Lynchburg past Bridgewater, 1-0. The victory marked a conference-best 15th overall crown for Lynchburg, its seventh in the past eight seasons.

Lynchburg was joined by at-large choice Virginia Wesleyan in the NCAA Tournament field. Both experienced early success. VWU took down Tufts University, 3-2, in the first round before falling to host TCNJ, 3-0, in round two. The Hornets advanced one game further, defeating McDaniel College, 1-0, and host Christopher Newport University, 2-1, in round two before they too were eliminated by TCNJ, 5-0, in the sectional round.

RELATED: 2017 ODAC Tournament Results | 2017 NCAA Tournament Results

For the third time in as many seasons, a large majority of the 2017 All-ODAC honorees return for another campaign in 2018. Twenty-seven award winners return to league rosters, including seven from the All-ODAC First Team.

Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan feature a pair of first team athletes each. Lynchburg welcomes back two-time first team forward Caitlin Mertens as well as midfield ball-winner Kara Rombough. The Marlins, which boast a conference-high six all-conference returners, look to defender Brooke Adamchak and 2017 ODAC Rookie of the Year, forward Anna Pedicone.

Bridgewater, Roanoke College, and Shenandoah University return one first team selection apiece. Midfielder Isabella Krider heads up a list of four all-conference Eagles, while goalkeeper Chris Martin is one of three All-ODAC Maroons back in Salem. Shenandoah also returns three honorees, including three-time first team forward Emily Yergin.

RELATED: 2017 All-ODAC Awards

New to the ODAC women's soccer ranks in 2018 is the addition of Ferrum College as the 14th member to sponsor the sport. Fifth-year head coach James Lofton brings a competitive squad to the conference, led by 2017 leading scorer Payton Stuart and All-USA South midfielder Alex Mattson.

The 2018 schedule begins with non-conference play on Friday, August 31.  A full slate of the opening conference games is set for Saturday, September 22. The regular season closes on Saturday, October 27 with tournament playing opening for nine squads on Monday, October 29. The quarterfinals will be contested Wednesday, October 31 with the highest remaining seed hosting the semifinals and championship on Saturday-Sunday, November 3-4.

If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio and statistics links.

Listed below is the 2018 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC women's soccer programs and a preseason interview with Coach Olsen from ODAC #1 Lynchburg.  For more information on ODAC women's soccer, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. University of Lynchburg (7) 163 pts.
2. Virginia Wesleyan University (5) 155 pts.
3. Washington and Lee University 140 pts.
4. Bridgewater College (2) 137 pts.
5. Roanoke College 125 pts.
6. Randolph-Macon College 112 pts.
7. Shenandoah University 99 pts.
8. Ferrum College 82 pts.
9. Eastern Mennonite University 71 pts.
10. Emory & Henry College 55 pts.
10. Guilford College 55 pts.
12. Randolph College 42 pts.
13. Hollins University 21 pts.
14. Sweet Briar College 17 pts.


2018 Poll Position: 4th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 16-5-1/7-3-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Runner-up (LYN, 1-0 OT)
Head Coach: Mike Van Horn
Overall Record/Yrs: 118-68-10 (.628)/10
Record at BC/Yrs: 118-68-10 (.628)/10
ODAC Record/Yrs: 71-36-4 (.658)/10
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Isabella Krider (M)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Catherine Haufe (M), Bailey Kratz (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 20 | Bailey Kratz
  Goals: 9 | Bailey Kratz
  Assists: 4 | Bridget Fabiani/Janidy Madera
  Saves: 2 | Alyssa Pearson
    2018 Poll Position: 9th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-9-2/5-5-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #8/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (VWU, 5-0)
Head Coach: Ted Erickson
Overall Record/Yrs: 23-46-5 (.345)/4
Record at EMU/Yrs: 23-46-5 (.345)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 14-28-1 (.337)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Rachel Sauder (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 14 | Rachel Sauder
  Goals: 6 | Laura Rittenhouse
  Assists: 6 | Rachel Sauder
  Saves: 86 | Leah Wenger
2018 Poll Position: T-10th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 4-12-1/3-6-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: McCallie Winstead
Overall Record/Yrs: 4-12-1 (.265)/1
Record at E&H/Yrs: 4-12-1 (.265)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 3-6-1 (.350)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 7 | Kelci Horner
  Goals: 2 | Graysen Barrs/Kelci Horner/Ashley Love/Brittany Singleton
  Assists: 3 | Gillian Hogg/Kelci Horner
  Saves: 40 | Kieran Liseski
    2018 Poll Position: 8th
2017 Records - Overall/USAS: 8-9-0/3-4-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: East #5/Eliminated in 1st round (Methodist, 1-0)
Head Coach: James Lofton
Overall Record/Yrs: 37-35-2 (.514)/4
Record at FC/Yrs: 37-35-2 (.514)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: First Year
Returning All-USAS Players
  First Team:
 Alex Mattson (M)
  Second Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 10 | Payton Stuart
  Goals: 5 | Payton Stuart
  Assists: 2 | Frances Best/Alexis McCargo
  Saves: 87 | Taylor Dodson
2018 Poll Position: T-10th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 6-9-1/3-6-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Stephanie Webb
Overall Record/Yrs: 6-9-1 (.406)/1
Record at GC/Yrs: 6-9-1 (.406)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 3-6-1 (.350)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 14 | Lauren Culler
  Goals: 4 | Lauren Culler
  Assists: 6 | Lauren Culler
  Saves: 27 | Morgan Malikowski
    2018 Poll Position: 13th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 1-14-0/1-9-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Robin Ramirez
Overall Record/Yrs: 14-105-1 (.121)/7
Record at HU/Yrs: 3-64-0 (.045)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 1-42-0 (.023)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 9 | Mallory Jengo
  Goals: 4 - Mallory Jengo
  Assists: 2 | Ciera Morris/Miranda Springston
  Saves: 224 | Kendra Rich
2018 Poll Position: 1st
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 20-4-0/8-2-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Champion (BC, 1-0 OT)
2017 NCAA Tournament: def. McDaniel (1-0 OT) in 1st Round; def. CNU (2-1) in 2nd Round; eliminated by TCNJ (5-0) in sectionals
Head Coach: Dr. Todd Olsen
Overall Record/Yrs: 419-92-46 (.794)/24
Record at LYN/Yrs: 419-92-46 (.794)/24
ODAC Record/Yrs: 206-28-18 (.853)/24
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Caitlin Mertens (F), Kara Rombough (DM)
  Second Team: Rachel Cooke (M), Kennedy Jakubek (F)
  Third Team: Georgie Duggan (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 31 | Caitlin Mertens
  Goals: 14 | Caitlin Mertens
  Assists: 7 | Kennedy Jakubek
  Saves: 48 | Delia LoSapio
    2018 Poll Position: 12th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 4-10-2/2-7-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Kevin Porterfield
Overall Record/Yrs: 87-182-9 (.329)/16
Record at RAND/Yrs: 87-182-9 (.329)/16
ODAC Record/Yrs: 38-135-4 (.226)/16
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 5 | Marle King
  Goals: 2 | Marle King/Michaela Salerno
  Assists: 1 | Sam Hablas/Grace Jennings/Marle King/Hannah Overstreet
  Saves: None
2018 Poll Position: 6th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 9-7-1/6-4-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (RC, 2-0)
Head Coach: Jay Howell
Overall Record/Yrs: 33-32-5 (.507)/4
Record at RMC/Yrs: 33-32-5 (.507)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 22-20-1 (.523)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Casey Kent (M), Lexi Mallory (D)
  Third Team: Mary Virginia Kelley (D), Meghan Skevington (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 16 | Meghan Skevington
  Goals: 7 | Meghan Skevington
  Assists: 8 | Casey Kent
  Saves: 58 | Christina Newman
    2018 Poll Position: 5th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 11-7-2/7-2-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Eliminated in Semifinals (LYN, 2-1)
Head Coach: Phil Benne
Overall Record/Yrs: 329-191-46 (.622)/29
Record at RC/Yrs: 329-191-46 (.622)/29
ODAC Record/Yrs: 198-74-18 (.714)/29
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Chris Martin (GK)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Lucy Perry (M), Ellie Schad (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 11 | Ellie Schad
  Goals: 4 | Kathryn Van Orden
  Assists: 5 | Ellie Schad
  Saves: 70 | Chris Martin
2018 Poll Position: 7th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-9-0/5-5-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #7/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (LYN, 3-2)
Head Coach: Liz Pike
Overall Record/Yrs: 114-95-16 (.542)/11
Record at SU/Yrs: 114-95-16 (.542)/11
ODAC Record/Yrs: 42-21-4 (.657)/6
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emily Yergin (F)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Rebecca Collimore (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 25 | Emily Yergin
  Goals: 11 | Emily Yergin
  Assists: 14 | Rebecca Collimore
  Saves: None
    2018 Poll Position: 14th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 1-14-0/0-10-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not compete in the ODAC
Head Coach: Jason Capps
Overall Record/Yrs: First season
Record at SBC/Yrs: First season
ODAC Record/Yrs: First season
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 2 | Caylin Newman
  Goals: 1 | Caylin Newman
  Assists: None
  Saves: 104 | Sam Holton
2018 Poll Position: 2nd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-7-1/9-1-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Eliminated in semifinals (BC, 2-1)
2017 NCAA Tournament: def. Tufts (3-2) in 1st round; eliminated by TCNJ (3-0) in 2nd round
Head Coach: Jeff Bowers
Overall Record/Yrs: 264-86-36 (.731)/18
Record at VWU/Yrs: 264-86-36 (.731)/18
ODAC Record/Yrs: 161-24-15 (.843)/18
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Brooke Adamchak (D), Anna Pedicone (F-ROY)
  Second Team: Alex Davidson (F), Shae Geary (D), Ryan McCurry (M)
  Third Team: Alicia Zamora (GK)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 31 | Alex Davidson
  Goals: 12 | Alex Davidson
  Assists: 7 | Alex Davidson
  Saves: 58 | Alicia Zamora
    2018 Poll Position: 3rd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-6-1/7-3-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (BC, 2-1)
Head Coach: Neil Cunningham
Overall Record/Yrs: 302-88-33 (.753)/23
Record at W&L/Yrs: 240-58-29 (.778)/17
ODAC Record/Yrs: 149-24-15 (.832) /17
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Caroline Coppinger (M), Megan Engeland (F), Emily Roche (D)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 24 | Megan Engeland
  Goals: 12 | Megan Engeland
  Assists: 5 | Emily Roche
  Saves: 41 | Leeann Passaro